by Mikey Beats

Raglan Public House » 1851 Bacon Street   »  Neighborhood: Ocean Beach   »  (619) 794-2304   »  RaglanPublicHouse.com

In this Beats & Eats, I interview Seton Edgerton and Andrew Mills of the local rock act Barbarian. I asked them to pick a spot they love to grind at, and they led me to OB’s Raglan Public House for a lunch date of drinking, eating and being awesome!

Mikey Beats: Andrew, tell me a little about yourself.

Andrew Mills: I’m the primary songwriter, lead singer and guitarist for Barbarian. I’m from El Centro, originally where I grew up around music. My brothers played drums so I started playing drums when I was 10, then moved on to the guitar. I played in punk bands for a little bit in high school, then I went to SDSU where Seton and I met and jammed with some friends. We were in a band together before Barbarian called Sweet Sue.

Mikey: How about you Seton?

Seton Edgerton: I grew up in LA, and I pretty much was the same as Mills; I had music constantly around me growing up. My older brother played drums in a band and he was in all of these metal and funk bands in Orange County. I went to go see him open for Morris Day and The Time; that was just awesome. I started playing guitar and was in and out of jam bands and fun little projects with friends. I lived in Australia for a little bit after San Diego State. When I came home, I basically just moved into a one bedroom down the street here with Mills. We then set out to start working on music. We started with that first project, Sweet Sue, then we progressed to Barbarian. We met Dan Nichols, our keyboardist, down at Jungle Java. At first we were kind of wary about jamming with people in OB because we weren’t sure how it would go along, like who would match up with our kind of style, because we are not reggae. Dan shreds on the keyboards and every instrument pretty much, so he fit our style well.

Andrew: There are a lot of musicians down here in OB and at first I thought the same way, that it’s all reggae musicians here but OB isn’t just that. There’s a bunch of people who live down here in that reggae scene but also a lot who are not.

Mikey: That’s a label about OB music right now that it’s all reggae and hippies, but that is not the case. There is much diversity here.

(The waitress drops multiple plates on the table for our appetizers.)

Mikey: I’m not a food critic, I’m just fat kid who loves to eat and talk about music. We’ve got calamari, shoestring potato fries, onion rings with all sorts of different sauces including red pepper aioli, sweet wasabi aioli, ketchup, tartar sauce and then we have a giant pretzel.

(All three of us start the feeding frenzy by grabbing, dipping and inserting all in fluid motions. Many jokes are passed in between swigs of their delicious Moscow Mules and fists full of fried food. These are a couple of great guys, who are really down to have a good time and I can see why they choose to hang out at Raglan because it is laid back with open windows and televisions showing soccer and rugby.)

Mikey: Let’s talk all your band members and what they play.

Seton: Andrew Mills, lead singer and guitarist. Me, Seton Edgerton, the guitarist and background vocals. Dan Nichols, the keyboards and background vocals. Jon Greene does bass. John Heger does drums; we actually met him on Craigslist.

Mikey: Oh? Under Rants and Raves or Casual Encounters?

(Laughter.)

Seton: Missed Connections.

Mikey: I read those sometimes, but never post. Andrew, we had a conversation a long time ago outside of Quality Social about the hustle of booking and how it can take a long time with much communication and persistence to get a show. Got any venues locally that proved this theory?

Andrew: Yeah, the Belly Up; I’d been talking to that guy for two years until it finally paid off. At first it was back and forth with emails, text messages and phone calls and finally, when he offered a date, we couldn’t play it. And then it happened again and again until finally we got a date that we could play. You never know, it’s never easy even when your foot is in the door.

Mikey: You keep on working at it until it all finally aligns. What do you guys have for releases? EPs? Singles?

Andrew: The first thing we did was vinyl.

Mikey: You did vinyl!?!

Andrew: Hell yeah. When we first started, we were like, “Let’s do this right. Let’s do vinyl.” It’s old school and DIY. It’s so awesome when you get that test press and you throw it on a turntable and play your own music.

Mikey: Most times when I see a band with vinyl at a merch booth, I buy it not just because it’s a novelty but also because it sounds better than mp3s.

Seton: Right! If you go out and buy vinyl from a band, most of them come with a digital download now anyways. That’s where you probably are going to listen to it most often, the mp3s. But when you put the effort into playing it by breaking out the record player and putting the needle on you actually listen to it and enjoy it more. That is opposed to putting the mp3 into your computer, then your iPod or phone and do other things while the music is playing. It’s a much better listening experience with vinyl. We also had our first full length come out last year, City of Women, that we only released digitally. That was six tracks. That was pretty 

(Andrew finishes Seton’s sentence …)

Andrew: …raw?

Seton: Raw … It was recorded here in San Diego at Electric Orange Studios with Jon Greene, who is now our bass player. We had very rough demos that we wrote and then we went into our rehearsal space to practice them for live performance. From that we took that direct into the studio for the album. There wasn’t much to it other than it was our live performance put into a recorded format. There were some things we put on the album that we couldn’t do live, but not too much.

Andrew: Overdubs and stuff.

Mikey: Right on. Let’s talk about websites and social media profiles.

Andrew: Facebook.com/Barbarianband.

Seton: We have Twitter, called @BarbarianMusic. We have Instagram called BarbarianMusic.

Mikey: Where can people find your music online?

Seton: Barbarian1.bandcamp.com and our Facebook page has links for it.

Mikey: You guys just had an amazing show opening up for Arctic Monkeys at the San Diego State Open Air Theatre. How did you get that show?

Mikey: We became buddies with some of the dudes from this band called Mini Mansions who are friends with the Arctic Monkeys. They’re really awesome, a really good band. I didn’t think we’d get the show but I had to be an optimist like Optimus Prime. The key is, if you e-mail a big band coming to town to open for them, what’s the worst they are gonna say? No, sorry?

Mikey: Very true. Was there another band on the bill?

Andrew: Just us two.

Mikey: So you and Arctic Monkeys. A sold out show. Wow, what a great opportunity!

(The server comes over and drops the burgers off.)

Server: Here we have a lamb burger. We grind all of our meats in house. So we’ll do rare and medium rare. It has our garlic aioli and our house tomato chutney. We do it on an organic bun with pickled beets, bleu cheese crumbles and a mint jelly. And you went all the way with a fried egg on top, too.

Mikey: I am in Food Bonerville, OB.

Server: Exactly.

Mikey: What’s that over there?

Server: That’s the Kiwilango. Homemade black bean patty with lettuce, tomato and onion. It has our aioli and chutney. It has some hot sauce on there. Fresh cut jalapeños with bleu cheese and homemade tortilla chips for some crunch.

Mikey: And over here?

Server: That’s the Average Joe, with the traditional toppings of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. We added some bacon to that, a fried egg and 100 percent grass fed organic beef ground in house.

Mikey: And last but not least, that one?

Server: That’s our Meso Tasty, which is grilled chicken, Swiss cheese, grilled pineapple, teriyaki glaze, red pepper aioli, garlic aioli and sweet Maui onion chips for some texture and crunch. It’s probably my favorite chicken sandwich we’ve ever had.

Mikey: It’s. About. To. Go. Down!

(Everyone starts eating and nothing we say here is recognizable as English to my transcriber but, I assure you, the oral orgasms are plentiful. One thing I would love to point out is how on most these burgers there is a sweet element to them and if you mix in the yolk from the egg, you get this dynamic flavor that truly pops your taste buds.)

Mikey: The yolk, the red onion, the sweetness, a perfect bun, perfectly packed patties, it’s an absolute mess all over the place, but damn it’s good. Back to the Beats: You guys have a new album coming out, what’s the buzz about it?

Seton: The new album … we took a different approach. We went out to Joshua Tree this time to record at Rancho Del La Luna, which is kind of a historic recording studio owned by Dave Ketchum. Queens of the Stone Age recorded there, Arctic Moneys recorded their new album there and parts of their previous release there. It’s just been like an inspirational place where you go and record and stay in the area. We were there for five days.

Andrew: We are doing a release show because the album comes out November 25. It’s not solidified, but we’re gonna do a big release show.

Seton: Yup, also on November 7 at Pappy and Harriets in Pioneertown. It’s Tim Mays’ birthday, the owner of Casbah. We are playing with Silent Comedy, Transfer and Mad Lib. Everyone is going to stay there and it’s going to be an epic night.

Mikey: Wow, Pappy and Harriets is legendary! I found out that someone in your band is related to the local band Oliver Trolley, who is it?

Seton: Jon Greene, his brother Justin, who is one of our super good homies, he plays drums with Oliver Trolley.

Mikey: I got you both your bands lined up at Oysterfest this year and you all delivered!

Andrew: Yeah, that was badass! You had three clothing changes Mikey.

Mikey: Ha-ha, when I stage manage at festivals in the summer, I get super hot so I bring extra shirts. I usually wear Hawaiian shirts because they are so easy to see for people who need to find me.

Andrew: They were all beautiful.

Mikey: Well I appreciate your taste in style as well as food and music. Thanks for the interview, guys!